Church History

First Baptist Church of LaPorte was organized January 8, 1896, with 17 charter members. The
first Sunday School was organized January 19, 1896. The first property purchased was in 1896 (4 lots at
North A & North 1 st Street) and the first building used was in the fall of 1896. The women of the church
made a large overhead tent which was used during the summer for worship. The building was completed
in March 1900 with a dedication service held; the building was filled to capacity. 


From February 10, 1918, until February 10, 1924, there were no church minutes or records kept
because of World War 1 and the Great Depression (paper shortage). With economic conditions being as
they were, the church combined with other churches for joint worship services. This community church
effort met at First Baptist.


After nearly 10 years, many new families had moved to La Porte and employment was available.
The Baptist Christians now felt strong enough to support their own church. On December 11, 1934, the
church decided to withdraw from the joint services. In October 1936 the first full-time pastor came. The
church built a parsonage in 1939 and also made renovations to the church.


In February 1943 the church purchased four new lots at the corner of S. Broadway and West C.
Street for future use. Later that same year in July, the “Surprise” Hurricane of 1943 blew the church
building off its foundation. The building had to be moved to the new lots. Renovation was completed in
December 1943 just in time for Christmas. The new address was 310 S. Broadway.

After World War II, the church acquired the old Telephone Building, which served as additional
Sunday school space and decades later became the Bread of Life Food Pantry. This ministry continues to
serve hundreds of families across the community.


In February 1947 five adjoining lots were purchased. A new sanctuary was built and dedicated in
November 1950. In 1958, the church converted the sanctuary into a two-story educational space and
added a new sanctuary. The new sanctuary was completed and dedicated November 15, 1959.


During 1963, a trailer and portable building were bought and located at the Oak Park Trailer
Ranch to begin a regular Mission Sunday School and V.B.S. which met for 10 years.


On March 25, 1970 property was purchased on Utah St., and a new parsonage was completed by
August of that year. The former parsonage was converted into office space. In 1973, the church started
building a new two-story Educational building. The new Educational wing was attached to the sanctuary
and dedicated in March of 1974.


On October 15, 1974, the church purchased 4 lots at the corner of South Broadway and West B.
St. for use as a playground for a Day Care ministry. In 1975, the Day Care ministry was started, which
lasted for 25 years (the church closed the daycare due to increasingly stringent building code standards for
state licensing).


In 1976, the old building (which was converted to educational space in 1959) was converted for
use as a Family Life Center (recreational building).


The sanctuary was severely damaged by Hurricane “Alicia” in 1983, along with damage to the
educational building. The sanctuary was completely renovated and the educational building repaired
without missing one service. In June 1998 renovations began on the sanctuary and educational building
wing with a new handicap restroom and a new paved parking lot with a porte-cochere.


In August 2006 First Baptist La Porte opened its doors to hurricane Katrina victims and became a
shelter for five weeks, housing and feeding over 100 victims.


In 2015, the church decided to relocate to property along the east side of HWY 146. In the same
year, the church purchased several lots along HWY 146 at the corner of Little Cedar Bayou Dr. In the
Spring of 2016, the church purchased additional adjacent lots bringing the total to 2.15 acres. All of which
was paid in full at the time of purchase. In July of 2016 we were in contract to purchase an additional 2.44
acres.


In 2016, First Baptist Church La Porte celebrated 120 years of active service to her Lord. For the
first 30 years, the church was led by 15 different part-time pastors. For 10 years during the Great
Depression, First La Porte combined to worship with other denominations. Since 1935, the last 81 years,
First La Porte was been led by 19 full-time pastors. Our current pastor started as interim in December
2011 and became our Senior Pastor June 12, 2012.


In the Fall of 2020, the church sold its property at 310 S. Broadway. We are currently meeting at
“The Gates”, an event venue located at 912 W. Main St in La Porte. The Church continues to raise funds
to build on the 5-acre property along HWY 146 and 8th St.


We continue to serve as the Lord leads and devote ourselves to keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus!